Dishwasher - Reset vs. Power/Start Button

Hi everyone! It’s been a long while since I’ve posted, but I visit this site all the time for the humour, camaraderie and sage advice.

I have a guest who messaged me yesterday, claiming the dishwasher wasn’t working - no lights, no sounds. Since I am currently a remote host, I engaged my property management team (affectionately referred to as Mom and Dad) to look into the issue. I initially thought it could have been a fuse blown. Well, we hired a repair person because it seems the dishwasher would work for a time, then stop. Turns out the guest inadvertently pressed the reset button as opposed to the power/start button. $90 later, an expensive lesson learned!

I have since added this little tidbit to my House Manual, but in all my years hosting, I had never come across this issue with guests, but there’s a first time for everything.

My question is: Am I out this money pretty much? Is it my fault that I didn’t state this in my House Manual? I feel like this is common sense, and the dishwasher was just fine, but I also don’t feel that this is something I can ask of the guest (who is traveling for work), and escalate to the Resolution Centre.

All in all I think it’s just a lesson learned in the world of hosting!

Yes, I think you just have to pay the $90.

I can understand this happening. I’ve done exactly the same thing time and again on our own dishwasher, which we’ve had for years. I don’t usually advocate posting signs throughout the house, but this might be a good opportunity for a sign.

Yeah, probably not.

Did the guest actually read your house manual?

And one more point: Good to have it in your house manual. But even better if you can talk the guest through exactly which buttons to push to correct it over the phone. If it were me, I’d write the steps down!

@RebeccaF, yes, fair enough! I also don’t love the look/feel of signs posted in a home, but in this case it may be warranted.

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@Brian_R170, excellent point re: house manual, as I’m sure only a small percentage of guests actually read it. I also have it printed in a binder on my kitchen counter, and refer to it in both the welcome message and in my listing. As Rebecca mentioned, maybe a small sign could do the trick.

Signs can be done up without it feeling like there’s notes everywhere. You can get attractive little picture frames in second hand stores and dollar stores and do up something attractive with nice, easy to read font and a graphic of the thing it relates to and hang it on the wall near the appliance or thing it relates to. I have a note with a cool picture I cut out of a colorful calendar in my bathroom relating to my septic and water system and put it in one of those plastic stand-up frames on the bathroom counter. The graphic is eye-catching, so they are drawn to read it. Instructions don’t have to be post-it-notes stuck everywhere, or buried in a long list in a house manual where they might not bother to read or notice it.

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I’m afraid so. Cost of doing business. Give the plumber’s bill to your accountant though - he/she should be able to allow it as a deductible expense against your hosting business.


As usual jaquo is 100% spot on. I would add it to a house manual and now you know so if it happens again you can advise the guest. Don’t overreact. And it could happen to anyone, even you. $90 isn’t too bad, lol. Just be glad the dishwasher wasn’t actually broken that would have cost a lot more.


Cover the reset button with tape? That’s what I do with the auto-lock disabling thumb turn on my Schlage keypad, after more than one guest turned it, leaving the door unlocked when they departed at the end of their stay.
The lock is explained in my welcome book (with pictures and arrows), but It’s easy to make mistakes with unfamiliar equipment.

I typed out all the steps to our dishwasher and taped to the inside of the cupboard door above the dishwasher. I also made a note of this in the house manual.

Piece of tape over the Reset Button and its label. If they don’t see it, they won’t push it.

Sorry but I am a common-sense kind of gal but have very limited experience with dishwashers. A reset button sounds like it would start a new cycle, e.g. start the dishwasher. I can’t imagine what else it would be for? It’s just for perspective. I’m not slow or technologically impaired but dishwashers are unfamiliar to me. Can you leave the manual for it in the kitchen drawer? As a guest, I always appreciate a manual for appliances.

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I leave them in one of those little tiered rack things that are intended for office use. It lives on a shelf in the closet and I point it out when I’m showing the guests where the beach towels and so on live.

To be honest, I started doing that because several years ago we had a coffee maker in one rental that I never knew how to operate without the manual! I figured that if I couldn’t figure out how to use it without the manual, guests wouldn’t either. :slight_smile:

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Same here. I’ve never had a dishwasher and don’t know much about how to use them. Every time i go to visit and stay with my daughter, I have to ask her once again to explain how to use it. And I’m also quite common sense and mechanically inclined.
As far as I’ve ever been able to determine, dishwashers are just a convenient place to hide the dirty dishes. I can wash them by hand faster than it takes people to scrape the food off, load it, rearrange things in it several times before it’s actually full, and then unload it :slight_smile:

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I very much appreciate all of the perspectives and the time everyone has taken to weigh in on this - it’s given me a lot to think about, dishwasher aside!

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We had a coffee maker like that at a place we stayed but no manual. I kept feeling like I was going to destroy it and the coffee was never quite right. We had a 6 week stay and so just went out and got one that suited us better, for the stove top, lol.

I’m actually not confident that I didn’t kill that coffee maker but hadn’t thought of it again until now. That host might still be cursing me :smile:

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I have stacked Asko washer & dryer in the rental area for guest use, but even the manual doesn’t always make sense — I think it’s a poor translation from the Swedish. So I always tell folks when I meet them where the washer and dryer are, and ask them to get a lesson from me before trying to wash because if you don’t you won’t know how to unlock the front loading washer.

I have a two-sided full page laminated sheet of instruction for my ventless washer dryer attached to the machine, with pictures, arrows and text! The control panel is not intuitive in the least.

I’m still mystified by some features on our washer and dryer, and we’ve had this pair for eight years!